Peking Univ raises funds from alumni

Updated: 2014-05-19 12:19

By Cindy Liu in Los Angeles (China Daily USA)

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A charity auction featuring 12 high-value items donated by alumni was the highlight of the Peking University Alumni Association of Southern California's 2014 Convention held on Saturday in California.

The lots on the block included calligraphies, tea sets, photographs, Chinese seals and other artwork. The most expensive item was a work of xiaokai, a form of kaishu scripts.

Shiyi Chen, vice-president of Peking University and dean of the graduate school there spoke about the future of the university and praised alumni's contributions in helping make it the best university in China.

Shiyi described two new projects the university had underway - an Oceanography Academy in Hainan and the relaunch of Yenching Academy, which was established in 1916 and merged to Peking University in 1952.

Yenching Academy will offer students a one-year master's degree in Chinese Studies. About 35 percent of the students will be Chinese with the rest from 50 countries around the world. Peking University will offer full scholarships.

Chen invited California alumni to contribute in this scholarship fund."Peking University's relations with California have been tightened this year. Just several days ago at the Committee of 100 in San Francisco, we received an award for our Stanford Center's contributions in fostering US-China relations," he said.

"Now Yenching Academy will give global talent a deep understanding of China, which will strengthen relations between the US and China," he said."We welcome oversea alumni's financial contributions to Peking University's development."

All 12 auction items donated by alumni were sold at the auction. China-based artist Shengshi Li, president of Beisheng Seal Art Society, donated the Xiao Kai art work to PUAASC through his student Yi Liu, who is now post-doc in UCLA and a Peking University Alumni of 2001. Hui Qian, a 1983 alumnus of PKU, bought the work for $11,000.

The 2014 PUAASC Charity Auction earned $23,000 in total, Yuanmei Ma, president of PUAASC told China Daily.

"We are so excited and so grateful tonight," Yuanmei said. "We are happy to be able to help another 10 students in Peking University and are so grateful for the support from our alumni in Los Angeles.

"As we can see, we still keep our passion for Peking University alive, and this passion is now turning to love that people are giving back," said Yuanmei.

In addition to the $23,000 generated by the auction, PUAASC also received checks at totaling more than $3,000 from alumni present.

Since its establishment in 2010, PUAASC has supported 40 students at Peking University who have faced financial difficulties in finishing their studies.

"We have already maintained a balance of $28,300 in the account even until this year's convention. We are committed to helping students at Peking University long term and we are able to carry it out," said Bruce Liu, former president of PUAASC.

 Peking Univ raises funds from alumni

Xuemei Chen (left), professor at UC-Riverside and HMI-GBMF Investigator, receives an honored alumni award for her contribution in science and research from Shiyi Chen (right), vice-president of Peking University and dean of the graduate school of PKU at the PUAASC 2014 Convention in Los Angeles on Sunday. Cindy Liu / China Daily

(China Daily USA 05/19/2014 page1)